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Authors: Goodnow, William E.
Date: June 17, 1855
William Goodnow wrote from Shannon, Wild Cat Creek, Kansas Territory, to his wife in New England. Goodnow commented on the weather and crops of the Territory, contrasting them with his experiences back East. Recovering from an illness, he had observed that there had been much traffic of soldiers, teams, and equipment passing by on their way to Fort Riley, "12 miles above here." Goodnow also mentioned that the Territorial Legislature was slated to convene at Pawnee, only 2 miles from his settlement, during the next week, though he supposed that "its doings will be illegal & void."
Keywords: Crops; Daily life; Denison, Joseph; Diseases; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Goodnow, William E.; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Pawnee/Shawnee Mission; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Weather
Kansas pioneer staking his squatter claim, 1855
Authors: Reader, Samuel James
Date: July 26, 1855
Samuel Reader painted this watercolor of himself staking a claim at Indianola. Reader moved to Kansas from Illinois in 1855, attracted by "rich, cheap farm land" (as stated in his autobiography). The inscription on the painting reads, "Samuel J. Reader. July 26, 1855." The artist drew many Kansas territorial and Civil War scenes.
Keywords: Art; Artist; Daily life; Immigration (see Emigration and immigration); Indianola, Kansas Territory; Land acquisition; Land claims; Objects; Photographs and Illustrations; Reader, Samuel James; Settlement; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Squatters
Letter, E. Nute, Jr. to Rev. E. E. Hale
Authors: Nute, Ephraim
Date: October 3, 1855
Ephraim Nute, a Unitarian minister writing from Lawrence, K. T. to Edward Everett Hale, described the natural environment, economic developments, politics, religious affairs, and daily life in Kansas Territory. Nute commented on the need for more saw mills, efforts to construct a church, prospects for "free-thinking Christianity," and the possibility of armed conflict in the territory.
Keywords: Border ruffians; Churches; Construction; Daily life; Economic development; Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Houses; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Nute, Ephraim; Religion; Sawmills; Timber; Unitarian churches; Violence
Letter, Wm E. G. [Willliam Goodnow] to My Dear Wife [Harriet Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, William E.
Date: December 2, 1855
William Goodnow wrote a personal letter from Shannon, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Harriet, in New England. Goodnow reported that his health had never been better, as he was "full of blood & stout looking" and commented that he wished he could send her his daguerreotype to show her his appearance. He mentioned that the settlement had just witnessed its first marriage and first baby born, and that Samuel Pomeroy of the New England Emigrant Aid Company would soon be among the settlers of the area.
Keywords: Daguerreotypes; Daily life; Goodnow, Harriet; Goodnow, William E.; Health; Marriage; Park, George S.; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory
Letter, [Hiram Hill] to Dear Wife
Authors: Hill, Hiram
Date: December 8, 1855 - December 9, 1855
Hiram Hill wrote from Westport, Missouri to his wife as he received new information concerning the Wakarusa War at Lawrence. Hill was frustrated by these reports, which conflicted and were from the proslavery perspective, and which concerned the number of free state and proslavery soldiers, the status of the war, and government action taken to prevent conflict. Hill was also troubled by shameless "traveling and drinking and swearing" and gunshots on the Sabbath. The last page of the letter expresses his relief at news of peace in Lawrence, where he would learn "the other syde of the story" upon arrival. The murder of Thomas W. Barber, who rode outside Lawrence and was shot by a proslavery supporter on December 6th, was mentioned. Hill also described an eventful stagecoach journey.
Keywords: Barber, Thomas W.; Cannons; Daily life; Free state militia; Health; Hill, Hiram; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Proslavery perspective; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Sharps rifles; Stagecoaches; Violence; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855
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